Facebook is taking heat again by the US government as it attempts to integrate WhatsApp and Instagram into the Facebook platform. According to various sources, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal government’s main business regulator, has been constantly looking over the company’s dominance in the advertising and social media space. This FTC could seek an injunction since Facebook is weaving its platforms together, and the FTC wants to ensure Facebook does not have too much power.
An injunction by the FTC at this point is not considered to be typical behavior because the companies have already merged. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, and in 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp, a very popular messaging app. Mark Zuckerberg, The CEO of Facebook, announced in January that he would like to merge all the platforms to create a more seamless messaging service.
Many critics of Facebook claim the merge is happening to make it harder to break up the company. Senator Richard Blumenthal even commented saying, “The FTC & DOJ cannot continue to leave Facebook’s provocations & anti-competitive conduct unchallenged. Action is overdue.”
I find this article interesting because I find it funny how the FTC is looking into this now. Many traditional media companies merge all the time, yet the FTC is looking very closely at Facebook. I think personally, because of Facebook’s data breach last year, the FTC is concerned with data and privacy rather than the actual merge. If people really had a problem, I wonder why this injunction did not occur sooner since the merge with WhatsApp occurred in 2014. I wonder why the integration of the apps is the problem since the companies merged so long ago.